The EC has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Tele2 by T-Mobile in the Netherlands, following an in-depth investigation. The Commission concluded that the merger would raise no competition concerns in the European Economic Area or any substantial part of it. The proposed transaction will combine Deutsche Telekom’s (DT’s) subsidiary T-Mobile NL with Tele2’s subsidiary Tele2 NL, respectively the third and fourth largest operators in the Dutch retail mobile market. The merged entity will remain the third largest player on the Dutch market after KPN and VodafoneZiggo.
Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: ‘Access to affordable and good quality mobile telecom services is essential in a modern society. After thoroughly analysing the specific role of T-Mobile NL and the smaller Tele2 NL in the Dutch retail mobile market, our investigation found that the proposed acquisition would not significantly change the prices or quality of mobile services for Dutch consumers.’
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, the merger proposal was unveiled in December 2017, aiming to create a combined company representing a more competitive mobile and fixed challenger to the Netherlands’ dominant two converged telecoms groups KPN and VodafoneZiggo. Once the deal closes, Sweden’s Tele2 Group will hold a 25% share in the combined operator and receive a cash payment of EUR190 million (USD224 million).